The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe concluded the 30th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers with the announcement by the outgoing chairman, about the “rescue of the organization” after the blockade imposed by Russia.
However, the Russian Federation continues to block the OSCE budget, although it allowed the next chairmanship to pass to Malta. This is done by consensus from all 57 member countries of the organization.
“There was no bargain with Russia for this,” said Bujar Osmani, the current chairman of the OSCE.
The Secretary General of the OSCE, Helga Maria Schmidt explained the circumstances if the budget is not approved by the end of December. “Then according to the organization’s financial rules, it works based on the allocation of temporary funds from the last budget and this is the one for 2021,” she said.
OSCE leaders cannot say whether this will affect overall security, which is one of the organization’s core principles and activities, but it will certainly have an impact on its missions. The OSCE has large missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and several other countries.
The Foreign Minister of North Macedonia and Chairman of the OSCE, Bujar Osmani, when asked at a press conference about the organization’s role in the developments between Serbia and Kosovo, said that his country was the organizer of the dialogue in Ohrid between Serbia and Kosovo that resulted in the Ohrid agreement, which is considered the only way to reach an agreement based, as he said, on mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia.
He said that the OSCE meeting in Skopje happened at an extraordinary time.
“When we witness an open war against Ukraine and continuous attacks on the concept of multilateralism, while people’s suffering has increased,” he said.
Malta’s foreign minister, Ian Borg, who will take over the next chairmanship of the OSCE, said the focus should be on ending war and conflict.
“Russia’s war and aggression against Ukraine must be stopped,” he added. Mr. Borg emphasized the commitment to fulfilling the duties and responsibilities in the coming months “in the spirit and principles of the Helsinki Final Act”, he declared.
His country will take over the OSCE Presidency on January 1 next year.
North Macedonia, meanwhile, has been praised for the role and direction of the organization, recently by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
On the other hand, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov speaking on Friday at a press conference in Skopje said that he remains indifferent to the future of the organization.
Mr. Lavrov came to the 30th OSCE Ministerial meeting after the government in Skopje lifted restrictions on the landing of his plane. It was the first time he has attended a forum in a European country, excluding Belarus, a close ally of Moscow, since the beginning of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
For this reason, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, boycotted the conference, as did his counterparts from Poland and the Baltic countries.